Auto Ethernet Goes Multi-Gigabit

Broadcom and Marvell now offer automotive Ethernet switch chips capable of 55Gbps and 37Gbps. Usable in both zonal and domain architectures, they support the move to automotive Ethernet and its rising bandwidths.
Bryon Moyer
Bryon Moyer

Broadcom and Marvell are throwing weight behind the move to automotive Ethernet with new high-bandwidth switch chips. The former has added the Scorpio 3 family and the latter has bulked up its Brightlane offering. Both introductions come in advance of the Automotive Ethernet Congress. Relative to their predecessors, the new products can switch more traffic, and they integrate optional gigabit PHYs.

Broadcom’s BCM89586M switches a total of 55Gbps, including up to 10Gbps through MACSec-protected ports. Marvell’s 88Q5192 switches a total of 36.6Gbps, including 5Gbps internal and 11.6Gbps with MACSec. The largest devices in both families have 16 ports. They’re sampling now; Broadcom has slated production for 1Q23 and Marvell for 2Q23. These switches are set to serve in 2024-model-year vehicles and beyond.

Although Ethernet appears in relatively few cars today, it’s quickly becoming more widespread thanks to the growing number of cameras and other high-bandwidth devices in next-generation models. Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) features sit atop the basic Ethernet protocol to provide the performance guarantees necessary both for the continuity of sensor data streams and for safety. The two switch families largely have the same TSN features, with Marvell checking the box on two additional ones.

Both companies target ASIL B systems, although Marvell has included a dual lockstep CPU and ASpice software certification to help customers build a code base to serve future ASIL D applications.

Domain and zonal architectures

Options for delivering sensor data to a switch

Broadcom Scorpio 3 BCM89586M

Marvell’s 88Q5192

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